December 2020 MSOP Meet and Confer

AFSCME MSOP Labor Management

December 10, 2020

Human Resources Room/Conference



Attendance: Adam Castle, Ryan Cates, Eric Hesse, Steve Wilking, Troy Sherwood, Ryan Kern, Nikki Boder, Paul Rodriguez, Annie Jakacki, Michelle Breamer, Chris Hagen, Bonnie Wold, Michelle Sexe, Scott Halverson



Follow Up Items

  1. A.     Inverse Numbers: Bonnie-inverse hours of 284.75. Overtime 1244.75 hours. Breakdown Later.
  2. Overtime Numbers:
  3. Health Services:  Breamer-11 inverse hours. 132.75 Overtime hours.
  4. 1.      PPE Supply: Bonnie-No issues
  5. 2.      Health Services Atlas Update: Eric-I hear there are requests by email instead of ATLAS. Update on process? Michelle-Redirecting them to enter through ATLAS if I get an email. Eric-fully operational? Breamer-Yes, they are able to put in vacation, sick, overtime. We will get demo next week on how RN can assign overtime.
  6. 3.      Health Services Staffing Update: Eric-.8 was posted. Any bidders? Breamer-no bidders or outside apps. It has been reposted for 2 additional weeks. Reposted on December 2nd or 3rd. will be down next week. Breamer-The shadow RN has been filled and to fill behind that person because a part-time RN bid on the full-time position.
  7. 4.      Lead Leveling Process: Ryan-I don’t have anything. Denise had meeting yesterday. Bonnie-we have had a couple of meetings.  With moose lake having quarantines, etc. we haven’t had a chance to meet with them. In progress. Eric-I was afraid of that. People are waiting for it to open up. Denise-We want to get your input. Probably won’t be until beginning of January. Let us know who you want at that meeting and we will send out the invite. Let me know your availability. Let’s look at January 11th. We want input about minimum qualifications. Let’s talk about job duties, interview questions. What do we need from our current leads? Eric-We will try to talk to our membership as well. More merit based than not getting in trouble.
  8. 5.      Notification of Not Filling Positions: Eric-Any more that you know of? Bonnie-Not for Security counselors.


New AFSCME Items

  1. 1.      A. Update on MSOP COVID plan: Eric-With recent outbreak, it seemed like a lot of confusion. People didn’t know where things were or if there was enough, didn’t seem prepared in my observation on the unit. Bonnie-you sent an email to Tim. He addressed that. We asked DeAtley to help streamline PPE and where it was kept. That was done. It has been streamlined and is going smoothly but if people didn’t see the communications, they may not know where things are. We will adapt when situation arise, and it presents opportunities when we quarantine. Eric-with point prevalence, there is going to be another outbreak. There weren’t enough baby monitors. Do we have enough. Bonnie-we placed an order for each unit to have enough. Order was placed last week.  Breamer-There was an abundance of side table and monitors in property. I saw Steve move 3 boxes full of monitors. We moved 40 to 50 side tables. Eric-more than that many rooms. Sexe-we use chairs in CPS that worked well. CPS had our own supplies but instead of keeping them separate we moved them to room 11 in the Pexton Basement. Jamie will keep track and have better idea.
  2. 2.      COVID plan at South House: Eric-we never discussed this. What is it? Scott-we rolled out a Covid plan in March. We follow the same for staff. No outside visitors. Staff email daily answering the same questions. We have PPE on site if client test positive. We have been on top of that. I have been in close contact to make sure they are using their mask. We are doing the best we can. Eric-since it is enclosed, any plan son fit testing for n95? They work closely. Scott-we haven’t had the conversation. Follow up with health services director. We have PPE on site that was sent by department of health. If someone tests positive, we have the ability to take care of that. Nikki-there is specific mask guidance about n95 needs that also applies to south house. There is no intent to fit test south house. They are provisionally discharged. If ambulance is called, they don’t ride with or stay there. Scott-we are not a facility if ambulance is called, we would not go with client. Nikki-there is no nursing on site so there is no aerosoling procedures. Eric-just wants to make sure our staff is protected. Scott-I always ask what they may need. We will continue to limit visitors for a while. We don’t want covid there.
  3. 3.      Pexton 2 North Schedules/Penalty Pay: Eric-Seems like scheduler going rogue. They put out the schedule before we know there are clients. Before it was a perk to work up there. I get the need of being proactive, but this is assuming it is out until January and we have more on Monday. If it closes, you will have to pay penalty as well to change them back. I have had one staff say if they take away the pay, I’m not working up here. I don’t want to get to the point that volunteers drop out. Bonnie-Jaime didn’t know the agreement, I think she was trying to be helpful. Do you want us to go back how it was or as Jamie posted it? Eric-people wouldn’t mind knowing in advance but if it takes away the penalty pay…. Bonnie-we will go back to penalty pay then. We don’t know in advance…. Bonnie-So, back to the way we were doing it. Eric-does that mean what is on there currently is penalty? Bonnie-I will talk to Denise & Tim and get back to you, (Tim Lokensgard has since sent out a clarifying email).
  4. 4.      Pexton 2 North Isolation Plan: Eric-Heard plan of making 2north strictly isolation in case of influx. I get it but what is the plan if admitted to a hospital outside with covid and come back with no place to put them? Nikki-We are not making it an isolation unit. Sticking with the current plan. If we get into a crunch situation where we use our capacity. We can room two positives together. If we max out, we need to have a plan B. Eric-is there a plan B? Nikki-We talked about what it would look like on the unit. A client may have to stay in their room with a bathroom and move roommate to another room and have specific way. We are hoping we don’t get to that. A logistical nightmare. Eric-In Shantz with 2 east closed. It is cramped. Nikki-Look at doubling up on quarantine unit first before making another something else.
  5. 5.      Point Prevalence Surveillance Memo: Eric-Comment made in it, “rest assured if covid is circulating due to staff not taking test, it will come to light”. This was voluntary so this statement was concerning. Nikki-The intent was to have under FAQs. We respond to clients with those and forwarded those to staff. Saying they aren’t going to test, etc. it wasn’t intended for staff. Clients only. It is optional but if you are thinking you won’t test because you don’t want the result, we will find it. for clients. Eric-Getting at if I don’t want to be outed? Nikki-exactly. Because some don’t want to quarantine the unit, canteen issues, property, etc. Specifically, on Moose Lake side is where we heard of this. I apologize but it wasn’t the intent. Clients had 183 tested out of 199. 3 could not test because they were off unit. Staff had 121 tested. Bonnie-I don’t have the total for how many staff were actually working, but it was close, I think. It was a good turnout. Eric-expanding the tests times? There are a lot of duties for 3rd watch right away. I don’t know how many participated, but it was a rush. Nikki-part of it was when the courier could pick it up. Health services needs that half hour. Every label that wasn’t used, we had to cancel every one of those orders. We need 30 mins prep to discontinue and package to get ready for courier. Bonnie-We got everyone through who wanted it. We had additional requests paged overhead and A-team called all areas asking if they needed coverage. I haven’t heard of anyone who wanted testing but couldn’t. Eric: Why is first watch being excluded? You still have overnights positive; they could spread it. Niki-decision was made to get the most people possible at one time with what is probability rate. We opted not to do over 1st watch bridge because majority of staff who deal with clients are working during the day. There is no intention to do mandatory testing but right now it’s a moment in time. Eric-I get that but there are many staff who work overtime. Possibility for a staff to come in if they want to be tested? Nikki-at this point, not to but it is up for discussion. You aren’t the first to bring that forward.
  6. 6.      Client Masking Requirements: Eric-A lot of questions about client mandated to use cloth but staff cannot. Why okay for client and not for staff? Breamer-Facility is considered clients home.  We aren’t required to wear masks in our home which is why clients are not required to wear procedural masks. We are healthcare workers, so we are required.
  7. 7.      N95 Masks for All Staff: Eric-there is a growing demand for staff wanting to wear them. Is it possible? Nikki-St. Peter has 54 SCs fit tested. No intention to fit test everyone in the program. Staff can fill out waiver to bring an N95 from home. Hagen- The current N-95 certified staff represents 42 percent of our staff pool. We also have a posting for anyone wanting to be fit tested and have received 2 people. Nikki-cost is for medical clearance to be fit tested. Annual cost is 30 to 35 dollars per person for the clearance through 3m. Many staff did not pass the clearance that cannot be tested. Must pass the clearance. Eric-I was curious of the cost. Nikki-it’s not for the fit test, for the clearance.
  8. 8.      Gloves Sizes Availability: Eric-XL vinyl gloves. Staff are having trouble fitting in them and they are tearing. Bonnie-I don’t think they make them larger than XL, I checked into it. There is a small percentage that use the XL gloves. Maybe it was a bad badge. Steve said there is no issue with getting them. Eric-Seems like on the isolation unit, we are ordering and not getting them. Dealing with positive clients we want more protection. Filling water bottles, food, etc. XL vinyl gloves issue. The nitrile is more flexible. Bonnie-we were reserving them for health services, but we are getting them to the isolation units as well. Breamer-They aren’t necessarily difficult to get but aren’t readily available from our supply company. Darnell has not been able to get them easily. We are reserving them for health services because they have direct contact. Once you remove the vinyl, hand hygiene is done immediately. Eric-Nitrile for health services? Breamer-Yes, at this time and for A team if they go hands on. Eric-Isolation staff could go hands on before a team arrives. Steve-or an emergent need before health service can respond. Bonnie-We will look at getting them for the isolation unit. Eric-Face shields/eye protection there was concern about not being available for quarantine. It’s not required but can we get at least one pair of PPE for each unit. Bonnie-we posted a message on SharePoint about how to obtain them if you would like. There are avenues to get them. We can’t readily supply for every unit. Check with your supervisor. Sexe-we have 7 at count coordinator that can be used.
  9. 9.      Leaves of Absence Denials: Eric-recent case of someone asking due to childcare closing down. Eventually it was approved but initially denied. Reason was because it would create overtime. This shows the staff that if we deny due to overtime when there isn’t a shortage. It signals to staff that the budget is more concerning than their family. It is stressed we need to be person centered. With this response, it seems that doesn’t apply to us. Denise-There is a balance and in a pandemic. That was the direction a long time ago. If we can approve and doesn’t result in overtime, we will. We have overtime every day now. Initially it was denied at first because that was the direction at the time. We took everything else into consideration and it was approved. It will be a case by case basis. For every person we approve, then we are forcing people to cover with overtime. There is a balance. We have to look at that because we also don’t want labor saying “they are letting them off and now we have to cover” we can’t blanket this. We have to look at each case. Eric-you are sending a message that employer is saying you need to choose between us and your family. Denise-We were never asking to leave your kid outside on the road. I am offended by that comment. I’m sorry if that is how it looks but we would never say that. We are going to run into this. As an employer we also have an obligation to the clients. We did work with the employee on this and it took a while. People also need to have plans in place. It isn’t up to the employer to figure out daycare. We have a business to run also. People need a plan in place. It has been like this since March. I feel bad for people in these situations. We will work with staff to the best of our abilities by changing schedules also. We also have obligations for the company. We don’t have all the answers. There isn’t a playbook out there. I hope we can work together when they come up. Eric-if you have a kid exposed, you are saying people need to be okay with taking care of a child with covid? Denise-no, I’m not saying that. They can’t help that, it’s a bad situation all the way around. Eric-staff feel defeated when they hear this. Denise- I feel bad for the employee. I get that people don’t want to take exposed kids. Eric-the process to get approved seems like…staff aren’t begging to have unpaid leave. It seems like HR is saying you are lying by asking for proof. Denise-I apologize for that. We are doing everything by email. I am happy we were able to approve it, but I am sorry for how long it took. We needed to clarify the process hopefully the next one will go better. We learned something from this request.
  10. 10.  Overtime Process In/Out of perimeter: Eric-Rumors that there is a ban for picking up shifts across the perimeter to CPS and vice versa. Sexe-Nursing is no longer checking in and going back. We said we are working with ODs to make sure it’s as minimal as possible. Bonnie-with prevalence testing, we don’t know what that may bring for staffing numbers. We are going to continue day to day and try to minimize it as best we can. Safety will trump everything, and we will take direction form CDC and health services.
  11. 11.  Hospital Coverage Ambulance Ride: Eric-is there a process? Bonnie-yes, we reached out to ambulance crew and there needs to be a staff fit tested that is in the ambulance. Hospital coverage also needs to wear N-95. Eric-if someone refuses by right, what will you do? Bonnie-go to next person who is tested. Eric-That contrasts with contract for overtime. My recommendation to Tim was have coverage with positive client. Can we sit outside the room and do checks? Bonnie-post order says they will be sitting outside room with n95 mask. There is a post order established. Chris-it was placed in the hospital coverage binder. There is an expectation for staff and that will be case by case basis based on what hospital says to do. Eric-if it is confirmed client, forgo the process now and go back to how it used to be. We don’t want to force people. They report to the hospital instead of coming into perimeter to limit cross contamination. Kind of like isolation unit where you have a list with no overtime attached unless needed. Bonnie-we can talk about it. Eric-safety and health of membership and clientele. Not sitting 8 hours and them coming into the perimeter.
  12. 12.  Hazard Pay: Ryan-any progress? Denise-No, we have talked multiple times. Hazard pay is not something that is decided locally, MSOP has no say over it. Decision is made by MMB. Council 5 has to work with mmb. It’s not happening locally. Same answer every month. No progress on hazard pay. Eric-It would be nice to have local partners to work hand in hand for management to advocate for staff to mmb. Denise- Hazard pay has a larger impact across the State. No one can say give our member hazard pay. We will participate when it comes to us. Its over our pay grade. We want to work with people. Eric-it would hold more weight if we all come together. Denise-I have not heard anything about hazard pay from mmb. I don’t know where it is statewide. Annie-we are requesting it routinely from mmb and get no response. Denise-I can let Mel know. She has more involvement than I do.
  13. 13.  Discussion Regarding Vaccinations: Eric-Staff are curious if vaccinations will be mandated? Nikki-no, DCT does not plan to mandate. Ryan-will they be provided by the employer? Nikki-there is active planning point of deliver system. We are working with public health to be a closed pod to vaccinate on campus. Health care workers and direct care staff.
  14. 14.  Health Services Schedule Changes: Eric-There was a mess with the schedules. Even with new schedule, it doesn’t look like what we discussed? There were no spots where you had 7 days in a row. What is going on? Breamer-Nikki and I made decision that we returned everyone to 8-hour shifts. That took effect yesterday. That required us to go to 7 and 2 rotation. Block schedules weren’t fully previewed. I have a meeting next Wednesday to go over the schedules. Eric-it’s still coming, just had to deal with this first. Breamer-there is no breach in contract language. Eric-point is the morale being low. I understand the business need, but personal lives are affected. Breamer-We have been listening to their concerns. We are going to continue to look at the needs and reevaluate frequently. Eric-timeline or goal to implement the blocks. Breamer-yes, we have a meeting next week and hope to fully understand it and by next posting we hope to have figured out.
  15. 15.  Impeding Concerted Union Activities: Ryan-Letter form Carol and Nancy saying members can’t wear a sticker with a black cat. It has a slogan as well. They said it was threatening. Stupid is all I can say. It was meant for forensics mental health program. Why did MSOP get involved? Unfair labor practices. Denise-MSOP wasn’t sure. It was local 404 issue. Based on our conversations, it wasn’t clear. It was a blanket statement. That is the answer as far as MSOPs role. Ryan-it was offensive. Religious insensitively. It was poorly conceived and thought out. Denise-we can agree to disagree and have different opinions. Eric-In an era of inclusiveness… By putting negative connotations about witches…Denise-that was not distributed to all staff. The memo on the home page went to staff. If there is further discussion, it shouldn’t be here. I understand what your position is on this.  I’m open for conversation. It’s another issue that is bigger than this meeting. Ryan-it was communicated to our members. Eric-let’s have a discussion offline.
  16. 16.  Holiday Pay Code Cheat Sheet: Eric-Do we want to work on the one you sent to me? There was another one sent out to management. Denise-I sent one to Bonnie and Kevin this week. It was the one we were working on earlier. I can send that out and we can finalize it. Eric-I want to get that finalized before the holidays hit. So, there is one universal on campus. I will look at it and get it back to you as soon as possible. (This document has been sent and is being updated and distributed)

Management Agenda Items

  1. 1.      Staff Entering and Exiting Facility: Troy-Continuing to have staff congregating going out. When I was there, there were 15 to 20 from sally port to fire door. It was a concern. If we had a covid there, we would have been wiped out. we would like your input on problem solving that. Eric-I can make a comment about masks. Can we put markers on the floor? Troy-more to it but on the right side, you can only get 5. We need to problem solve it together. We appreciate staff coming in early as well. The ODs have issues as well. Eric-We also talk about ODs not coming in right away. So, people come in waves. If you want to eliminate that. Come in when you get there, and they go to the OD office. Troy-get something out right now to time so you don’t get to the door early. Eric-We can have a sit down. Troy-I can put something together and we can go from there.



Adjourned at 120pm